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Eindhoven attack video: all youths arrested, but should they be named?

Thursday 24 January 2013

All eight youths caught on security camera kicking and hitting a man in Eindhoven have now been arrested, Belgian police said on Thursday.

The last five youths are aged 17 to 19 and live in and around the Belgian border town of Turnhout. Four are Belgian nationals, three are thought to be Dutch and one’s nationality has not been made public.

Two of the youths reported to police on Monday, the day after the security camera footage featuring the attack was broadcast on the regional Dutch broadcaster. The third youngster turned himself in the next day.


The apparently unprovoked attack took place on January 4. The 22-year-old victim was hit and kicked by several of the eight-strong group after they marched down the street on 'a war footing'. He suffered severe concussion and injuries to his mouth and jaw.

The arrests and the circulation of the video have led to a heated debate in the Dutch media about the ‘naming and shaming’ of suspects.

In the Netherlands, it is accepted practice not to publish identifiable photographs of suspects and they are usually known by the first name and an initial.

Eindhoven youths security camera.png
Nos television published this photograph,which features some of the gang

And while the names and photographs of the eight suspects are circulating freely on the internet, the Dutch public prosecution department has called on the media not to ‘disturb the legal case’.

Shock blog GeenStijl carried a photograph of most of the gang, without blurring their faces – as is customary in the Dutch media – and appealed directly for names. Two of the youths in the picture (above) are not wanted in connection with the attack.

The circulation of the photograph led to the naming of all the youths involved.

However, one boy, Tom Kantelberg, who has the same name as one of the youths in the video, told Nos television: ‘I've been threatened all day. I don’t even look like the boy in the photo. And if I try to contact GeenStijl, I don’t get an answer.’

Doing the job

The Volkskrant interviewed media specialist Marianne Zwagerman who said both GeenStijl and its television equivalent deserved 10 points for ‘doing what they should do – tracking down the perpetrators’.

'GeenStijl put down everything that came in via Twitter and came up with the answers, in their own manner,’ she said.

Yes, someone with the same name as one of the suspects has been threatened, she said. ‘But let us not exaggerate. He was phoned a couple of times, which is naturally very annoying,’ she wrote.

‘But it makes me very angry that big organisations like the Nos, with a workforce of 400, point the finger at GeenStijl which has five journalists,’ she wrote. ‘Go and find out who the boys are yourself,’ she wrote.

According to an online opinion poll for Radio 1 website Stand.nl, 84% of the Dutch support the publication of the photographs.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

I have yet to hear a valid arguement as to why perpetrators and idiots like these should not be named and shamed and their names and images displayed in all media. This would surely act as a deterrent. As it is, the most these guys can expect is a slap on the wrist. Kudos to GeenStijl for standing up to the other media. Shame on NOS for having no spine.

By Patrick | 24 January 2013 11:43 PM

These kids are thugs, they can't be treated as anything other than criminals. Don't slap their wrists, they'll laugh at you and do it again or worse next time. Corporal punishment is not an option unfortunately so lock them up, treat them with heavy hands, make them wear a tag (modern day ball and chain) and report every day for 2 years to a police station.

By Mick Marsh | 25 January 2013 12:11 AM

Now the big question is......Will the Dutch legal system fail the people again by giving these delinquents a slap on the wrist?

By Justin Howard | 25 January 2013 6:16 AM

I totally agree with with Patrick, and most of all with Mick. who has the right idea. A slap on their wrist does nothing and just might wake them up.

By dee | 25 January 2013 7:56 AM

The picture shown is circulating around facebook, showing their faces and giving names. (Hope the names are correct.)

By Darren | 25 January 2013 9:41 AM

I agree with Patrick & Mick.
While I can understand a suspects name & pic being withheld, If that person is convicted the rule should no longer apply.

By Donaugh | 25 January 2013 10:39 AM

The boys should not be outed because otherwise it is punishment before judgement and hearing. Once their names and pictures are on the internet this story will haunt them in every step. I guess you all know why it is wrong to punish people before a fair trial?

By puskul | 25 January 2013 11:04 AM

And don't forget: Dutch parents are happy the way their children have been grown up and educated.

A lot of proud parents here!

By joanna | 25 January 2013 11:47 AM

Some scary comments. I don't think it is the media's job to name and shame suspects. These men didn't have a trial yet, and people are already sure they will only get a slap on the wrist. There comes a time when this mob mentality will go terribly wrong.

By pepe | 25 January 2013 1:47 PM

If you want to know why check Pepes comments - alot like him still prioritise the criminals over the victims. Of course they should be named - if they did it! Too much of this thing going on it needs to be cracked down on hard.

By Allan Nesbit | 25 January 2013 3:10 PM

if you see the video, the attack was not some guys pushing each other, they kicked the victim on his face again and again till he was down and not moving. It was violent attack not a fight. They should be tried as adults. I will pay more tax but please put them behind bars fair and square for long. the kicked waited , then kicked more and then moved away. its good that this can happen to anyone in the Netherlands and maximum punishment would be anger management class they are not kids they are adults. only adults can behave like this.

By SC | 25 January 2013 5:31 PM

Oh come on folks,the same damn system refuses to proscute a person caught with child porn and still allows the pedophile visit his children. Dutch justice system will only slap em on the wrists and wag a finger at them and say BAD BOYS,go to the corner and think about what you have done. I do hope that the so called law enforcement in Holland is reading all these comments, cos they are an embarassment. These thugs are THRIVING on all the attention they are getting and laughing and joking and nuding each other like whoo hoo they are talking about us bruv.Too bad the criminal justice system in this country is totally spineless.

By Lincolnnnnnn Looogggssss | 25 January 2013 5:59 PM

Very scary comments! Nowhere does it say every youth on that photo is a suspect. Read the middle of the article - about one innocent boy who was named and isn't even a suspect!

This is pure trial-by-media. Guess these commentators should be in Russia or China, where trials are mere formalities with no representation?

As for Joanna, there are thousands of decent kids with decent parents here - just because you don't know any says far more about you than it does about them. Violent people exist everywhere, in every country on earth, in every walk of life.

By osita | 25 January 2013 6:20 PM

Publish the name and address of those asa well as that of their parents. Send the "machos" to Mali and or Afghanistan on a one-way ticket.

By Robert G Coenen | 26 January 2013 9:38 AM

Unfortunately these thugs are not the only ones in the country. Here are two reasons not to name:
1. Glorification: in some circles these guys will be seen as heroes and this may create a following and escalation of the behavior in the country.
2. Retaliation: the other side has thugs too, would would like to take justice in their own hands and give an eye for an eye resulting again in escalation.
Don't get me wrong: I am appalled and want to see strong justice done. We need to guard against spreading this evil, however.

By Bernadette | 26 January 2013 3:03 PM

All one has to do is state they are a suspect and if people draw their own opinions so be it. This is clear, they have a video.... many of them against ...fact is fact they are shits, and deserved to be punished. They could of killed this young man. Society does have the right to name and shame.

By Angela | 27 January 2013 10:18 AM

Please put them in jail and throw away the keys...

By Fabio | 30 January 2013 2:42 PM

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